The Real People who Inspired my Mystery Series

Part 1: The Lion's Courtship, Illustrated Edition

Several scenes and characters in The Lion’s Courtship (Prequel to the Anna Kronberg Mystery Series) were inspired by historical photographs from John Thomson & Adolphe Smith in Street-Life in London - a small, tattered pocketbook I bought ages ago.

The photos are now part of the brand-new illustrated edition of The Lion’s Courtship.

Two old women inhabit the stone steps of Short’s Gardens’ workhouse. A broken jug, a teapot, and the layers of rags that protect their hides are their only possessions. Scotty wears a hideous grey waterproof, fastened tightly around her frame. Betty huddles beneath a chequered shawl of feeble texture, a wheezing infant in her arms. Its head presses against the warm patch of skin beneath her chin.

From: The Lion’s Courtship

Baylis’ apron is, as usual, marked by a long day’s work. The man seems to be everywhere at once. In the kitchen stirring two enormous vats of soup made of whatever ingredients he can find, or at the counter talking to Ramo Sammy who — now one-toothed — spends most of his days there, slurping up whatever Baylis pours into his bowl. When Baylis isn’t to be found at any of the aforementioned locations, he’s most likely be standing at the entrance to his shop, one hand propped against the door frame, his sharp gaze sweeping over each and every street arab lined up to obtain enormous helpings of pudding for a halfpenny.

From: The Lion’s Courtship


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